5 Flavors of Scary
Looking for the perfect word to describe that coal-black, spindly, slowly creeping spider? Luckily there are many ways to express the particular subtleties of horror that you’re feeling. Try these words on for size…
Adj. [skair-ee] Origin: 1575-85
1. Causing fright or alarm.
Via Random House Dictionary
For expressing a thing’s fear-inducing power at the most basic level: That is one scary spider.
Origin: Before 900 A.D.
1. Causing a feeling of sudden fear, anxiety, or alarm.
2. Casting a depressing influence or sensation.
3. Possessing a lack of warmth of feeling, unfriendliness or coldness.
An unsettling flavor of scary: Despite the smirk that hung on his lips, the killer’s chilling stare was entirely devoid of empathy.
1. Causing great distress, shock or dismay.
2. Awful, terrifying, dreadful.
A bit more dramatic than simply scary: Laura paled as the horrifying realization that she’d been exposed to the flesh-eating bacteria settled in.
1. Having or causing a creeping sensation of the skin, as from horror or fear.
2. Having or causing a sensation of repulsion, horror, or fear, as of creatures crawling on the skin.
More likely to make you shudder than scream: The creepy sensation of being followed made the hair on the back of Ben’s neck stand on end.
1. Like or befitting a spook or ghost.
2. Eerie, scary.
Scary with a paranormal twist: More than once, I caught a flash of movement in my peripheral vision while exploring the spooky, abandoned house.
1. Arousing terror; horrifying.
Often refers to a sudden action: Her eyes widened in fear as the bloodcurdling scream was suddenly silenced.